Date #4 of My 12 Dates of Christmas: Brad

Brad’s boss, Michael, volunteered him for the 12 Dates of Christmas. How do you say no to your boss, right?

When I called Brad to set up the date, he said all he had been told was that I needed his help with “a charity project.”

A CHARITY PROJECT?!?!?!

I think I died a tiny bit inside at that moment.

I actually thought it was funny. I don’t think Brad got as much amusement out of it as I did. At any rate, I explained the whole deal to him, and he was nice enough to go along with it anyway. I thought I would cut him some slack and offer him a lunch date so he would get put out of his misery as quickly as possible, and he seemed a little relieved at the gesture.

12 Dates #4 Brad

Now I don’t want to say that I’d set low expectations for this date, but based on the initial phone conversation, I’d set REALLY low expectations for this date. So I was pretty surprised when Brad planned a “grub crawl” for us. The idea was that we’d go to different restaurants and have a single course at each one.

Creativity within a lunch date? AND by someone who was kind of tricked into going in the first place? Bonus points for Brad on all accounts!

The first stop was the Nordstrom Café. Getting into the café proved to be a bit of a challenge. I think the scene played out something like this:

It’s ok, Brad, doors can be tricky. They’re especially confusing when they have words like “PUSH” printed on them. The good news is he took it all in stride and was able to laugh it off.

From there we hit Michelangelo’s on Main for some appetizers. Look, for those of you who are wondering about the fact that I keep being seen eating salads, just know that I don’t know what’s gotten into me either.

12 Dates #4 Salad

It was over this course that Brad told me about the dare his boss had given him. Apparently he told Brad to ask me at the end of the date if I like spontaneous guys. If I said yes, Brad was dared to kiss me. I was told that was my warning. Noted.

Our next course took us to the Nauvoo Café. I used to love going to this place when I worked downtown. Their sandwiches are so good. Turkey, pepperjack cheese, and a tangy cranberry orange relish that’s all toasted under a broiler? Yes please! Over the main course I learned a little bit about Brad’s time at BYU Hawaii (seriously, who just up and goes to BYU Hawaii? I’m a tiny bit jealous I never thought of it), the master’s degree program he’s in now, and how he’s more coordinated at skiing/snowboarding than I am. Oh, and I think there was a shark attack story in there somewhere.

12 Dates #4 Nauvoo

Our last stop was to Farr’s for some frozen yogurt and more conversation. I thought this was the perfect way to finish the date, but I was wrong.

12 Dates #4 Yogurt

As we walked back to Brad’s office he asked me if I liked spontaneous guys. I hemmed and hawed about it for a bit, but he wasn’t letting it go. I didn’t know what to say.

The real answer on any given day would be yes.

The answer given what I knew was riding on my answer was . . . well, yes.

So finally I said it, “Yes, I do.”

That’s when he stopped right there on the sidewalk and KISSED ME!

I honestly about fell over. I never thought he would actually do it. Even as he was leaning in and getting closer I kept waiting for the punch line. I thought he would pull a chocolate kiss out of his pocket or something. Nope, he was for real.

I guess the tables were turned now and I was the one in shock. Well played, Brad. Well played.

We got back to his office and as I went to give him a hug, he said, “Again?” and gave me another kiss.

The whole thing was totally unexpected and, I’m not gonna lie, it was pretty awesome.

Now THAT was the perfect way to finish the date!

Date #3 of My 12 Dates of Christmas: Chad

Where do I even begin with Chad, AKA Date #3? We have been good friends for three years—ever since he came to my house to decorate gingerbread houses. Our friendship did go through a rough patch after he called me fat and couldn’t lift me onto a buffalo. But it was that incident (and many, many, MANY more since then) that earned him the nicknames “Captain Tact,” “Tactless Chad,” “The Tact Free Zone” . . . you get the idea. He takes the abuse well, which is good, since he doesn’t really have a choice in the matter.

Date #3 Chad
I’ve always wondered what awesome looks like. Apparently it looks like Chad. (I forgot to get a picture of us together, but trust me, I was there.)

When I first posted on Facebook that I was looking for dates and promising awkward moments, Chad was the first to speak up and ask if he could bring his mom. Serious? Joking? You never know with him.

It seems his mom had other plans that night, so Chad and I ended up on our date alone.

It’s clear that Chad understands me and my love for all things cheeseburger, because we went to Five Guys for dinner. I have to admit that I’m not usually a fan of their fries, but tonight they were soooooo good. Maybe it was the company, or maybe it was the fact that I’ve deprived myself of fries lately, but whatever it was, I’ll take it!

12 Dates #3 Five Guys Burger

From there, Chad had big plans. Plan #1: hold my hand in an awkward game of chicken, or in this case a game of “who will let go first.” And not that it matters, but I totally won. Although that meant I had to hold Chad’s hand for an extended period of time, so I don’t know if it can really be considered a victory on my part.

12 Dates #3 Holding Hands

Plan #2: Turn four pink flamingos into the perfect Christmas lawn ornaments. Yes, you read that right.

Chad had originally said he wanted to toilet paper someone’s house, but given the snow and cold, we opted to forgo that option. I suggested that I had some pink flamingos (don’t ask) I wanted to use for something fun, and Chad ran with it. You see, Chad is an engineer, and while he claims this is “the dorkiest thing he’s EVER done,” I find that very hard to believe.

12 Dates Flamingos

Chad had bought red LED lights, wiring, battery packs, and a few transistors (or some type of wire thingy with a knob in the middle—why they don’t just call it that, I’ll never know), and I supplied the flamingos, the batteries, and the mocking commentary.

After a little flamingo filleting and some wiring, we were in business.

12 Dates Flamingo

Comforting a flamingo in surgery is harder than you think.

Plan #3 involved writing a story about our little flamingo friends. Whatever you do, please don’t judge my skills as a copywriter by this piece of work.

Rango the Red-Nosed Flamingo

You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen. But do you recall, the most wonderful flamingo of all?

Rango the red-nosed flamingo. Had a very shiny nose. And if you ever saw it, you would even say it glows. All the flamingo ladies, used to text and call him a lot. They all wanted Rango, because they thought his nose was hot.

Then one foggy Christmas Eve, Santa came to say, “Rango, with your nose so bright, won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?” 

This made the ladies crazy. They cheered and chased him all around. But Rango was just a flamingo, so Santa’s sleigh never left the ground.

Then all the ladies ditched him. They said his nose was filled with snot. Rango felt rejected, the top flamingo he was not.

That’s the story of Rango the red-nosed flamingo. Poor Rango was so embarrassed after “the incident” that he was determined to win back the hearts of the lady flamingos. So every Christmas, Rango travels the globe to find special people on Santa’s nice list. He takes up residence in their yard until Christmas and signals to Santa where to land. So please treat Rango nicely. Feed him twice a day, and make sure his batteries never die. Then, on Christmas Eve, Rango will repay you by guiding Santa’s sleigh to your house.

With the story completed, Plan #4 was to deliver them to unsuspecting neighbors. We opted for the “ring and run” method, although it would have been much more effective if Chad’s car didn’t have a loose belt that loudly warned the neighborhood when we were making our getaway.

12 Dates Flamingo Ring and Run

Finally, Plan #5 was to go back to my house and end the date the way any good date should end—with a rousing game of Dr. Mario on the Wii.

Date #2 of My 12 Dates of Christmas: Craig

I was feeling pretty good about Date #2, since Date #1 went fairly well. This time, the dating target was Craig. He was sent my way from friend and fellow blogger, Nicole Bullock.

Date #2 at Leonardo Museum

When I emailed Craig, I mentioned that I was taking it on faith that he wasn’t going to turn out to be a serial killer. To that he responded,

Saturday is perfect for me. In fact, it is really the only day I have all month. All the other days I’ll be at my other job as a serial killer, but don’t worry this Saturday is my day off from that.

Should I have been worried? I was a little bit.

Craig also asked if each date had a theme like “Two Turtle Doves” or “Eight Maids a Milking.” Dang. Where were these suggestions when I was planning this project? It kind of makes my version seem boring by comparison.

He did a great job of putting together a fun date, despite my lack of having a theme. We met up at the Downtown Salt Lake Library and headed across the street to the Charlie Chow’s Dragon Grill. I have to admit I was a little leery when he said that’s where we were going. I used to drive past that place all the time and never had an overwhelming desire to go in. Much to my surprise, it was REALLY good. Basically, you build your own stir fry and they cook it up for you. Yum!

We finished off our late lunch with a couple of fortune cookies. Blue for him and pink for me. Fitting, right?

Date #2 Fortune Cookies

We then headed over to The Leonardo Museum to do some exploring. I was really excited about this because I’ve never been, but have always meant to check it out.

We had a lot of fun checking out the exhibit about water:

Leonardo Museum Date #2

Making a stop motion movie:

Creating art out of books:

Leonardo Museum Book Art Creations Date #2

And Craig even did some dancing:

Leonardo Museum

So maybe the date had a dancing theme after all.

I can’t speak for Craig, but I had a great time. We have a lot in common. He is a graphic designer, so we both work in the marketing industry, we both love to be active and do things outdoors, and we both enjoy riding mountain bikes downhill far more than we like taking them uphill. Plus, we both know how to have a good time. What more can you ask for? Well, besides someone who isn’t a serial killer, that is.

Date #1 of My 12 Dates of Christmas: Kee

Ah, the 12 Dates of Christmas. And so it begins . . .

My first victim, er, I mean, date was with the cousin of one of my business partners. For months I’ve heard Lindsey talk about her amazing cousin she wanted to line me up with. So when I rolled out the plan for the 12 Dates of Christmas, Lindsey was quick to push Kee to the front of the line. And since Lindsey is great, I figured Kee was probably great too.

12 Dates of Christmas Date 1

Since Kee and I live in different counties (in fact, there’s even a county in between us) we met up for lunch on a day when I was going to be in his neck of the woods. He chose Café Zupas as the fated destination restaurant. Delicious soups and sandwiches AND salads that taste like candy? He was already scoring points in my book.

Cafe Zupas Restaurant

Just because I’m sure you’re dying to know, I got the Nuts About Berries salad and the Chicken Enchilada Chili. Uh, yum! Seriously, this salad may be healthy, but I don’t  let myself acknowledge that fact. I simply choose to believe it is candy masquerading as a salad.

Zupas Nuts About Berries Salad

Sigh. I’m sorry, where was I? Oh, yes, the date.

One of the first things I noticed about Kee was how polite he was. He had gotten to the restaurant before I did and was watching for me so he could open the door as I walked in. I guess I’m not used to service like that, so it was a little embarrassing when he refused the tip I was trying to give him and introduced himself as my date. Ok, so I didn’t try to tip him or mistake him for an employee, but it was still a nice thing for him to do.

We had a great conversation over lunch, where he casually threw out tidbits like, “When Lindsey was three, I cut off my leg . . .”

Wait, what? You cut off your leg?

“Yeah, they reattached it. Anyway . . .”

Is that something you just casually mention in passing? I feel like that’s the equivalent of saying, “I died once. These mashed potatoes are so creamy.”

I did manage to get the basics of the leg cutting off story out of him—a trailer fell on him while he was welding it, just in case you were wondering, and we talked about a lot of other things including his three kids, the years he spent as a vagabond of sorts, riding his motorcycle across the country and working odd jobs to survive, and his love of movies (which makes sense, seeing as how he’s an art director at a movie studio).

The date ended just as courteously as it began, as he walked me to my car and opened the door for me.

It was nice getting to know Kee, and I can confirm his cousin’s statements—he is, in fact, a great guy.